For those of you who don't know me that well, I walk a lot. Like, a lot. I walk the dog. I walk myself. I walk to the grocery store. I walk for fun. I walk for exercise. I rarely walk less than two miles at a time, and I will frequently walk between three and seven miles in a day. I walk the treads off my shoes. My highest daily distance to date is 11 miles.
So I've been keeping an eye out, just in case any monsters have appeared in our universe. I hadn't seen anything, but then yesterday, I noticed that the ducks were gone. This is what the pond used to look like:
I even have a video for you, to help you fully understand the true impact of what is happening.
This is what it looks like now:
It's scummy and covered in lily pads, and while still beautiful, very lacking in the duck department. In addition, the other birds have been on high alert. Look at Casey, the graceful red-wing blackbird, keeping a watchful eye on the water's surface. Look at Reginald, the elegant heron, standing guard over his beloved home. It seems that something is making them nervous.
In addition, there has been a great deal of flooding lately.
What could cause that? you ask. Rain?
Well yes, rain. Or displacement. And if displacement is what caused the flooding, then whatever is doing the displacing must be very large.
So I set a trap. I borrowed the Duck of Judgement from Bill (ZoeyD's dad) and let it float aimlessly on the pond while I waited silently. I picked a time of day (early, early morning) when I knew not many people would be around. And I waited. And waited. And waited.
I waited so long that my phone died.
Then it happened.
The Duck of Judgement disappeared with a floof and a splash. And I, Ariele Joy Sieling the 1st, got a glimpse of my first monster! Luckily, I had a scrap piece of paper and was able to draw a quick sketch before the image receded from my memory. Sorry Bill, you'll probably never see the Duck of Judgement again.
The monster in question was a PLAT, which is a very silly name for such a terrifying creature. It is large and flat, and sleeps most of the year on the bottom of a pond or lake. They are freshwater monsters. They can grow 6 - 40 feet in diameter. Their head consists primarily of several eye stalks, which, when chopped off, regrow. They are brownish grey with a pebbled pattern, so they blend in with the silt and mud at the bottom of the pond. And once or twice a year, when the pickings are good, they silently float to the surface of the pond, and PLOP, close around whatever meat they can get, like a giant duck burrito.
But the most terrifying thing is that this is real! These creatures exist all around us, in the here and now, but are so skilled at blending into our world that we may never notice they are there until it's too late.
Alas, I have no proof, due to the wily and unreliable thing that is technology. You will just have to trust me--your life may depend on it.
And no, I didn't kill it. I didn't have the weapons necessary. All I can say is--don't let your kids swim in the pond.
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